Under Sail

The Gathering ’11 is a Wesleyan ministry conference which will be held in Jacksonville, FL.  It’s just ten weeks away.  Sponsored by The Wesleyan Church Board of General Superintendents this conference brings hundreds of Wesleyan pastors and leaders together for a concentrated time of revival built around vital topics, anointed speakers, Spirit-filled worship, and practical networking with ministry partners.  My thanks to the local church boards and congregations across the Atlantic District who are investing in their pastors and pastoral staffs and making provision for them to attend this important event. The Atlantic District has provided scholarships to our District pastors to assist them in getting to The Gathering.  To date, we have 86 people (with spouses included) who have registered.

The District Mini-Sterial was held at Bethany Bible College October 19-20.  Dr Wayne Schmidt was the special speaker and he brought very helpful and practical teaching.  We were encouraged, challenged, helped, and given excellent insights that could be taken away and put into practice.  There were 80-85 people who attended the sessions, including students and staff from BBC.  Thirty-five of our churches were represented at this optional event.  It was an excellent turn-out on somewhat short notice, and I thank our pastors for making the effort to attend.  Our thanks, also, to President Mark Gorveatte for extending to the Atlantic District pastors the invitation, and to the staff and students at the College for making us welcome.
Pastor Kevin Myers, Sydney – New Roots Wesleyan, reports that Pastor Ken Banks and twelve other people from the Truro Wesleyan Church came to town and ran a Coffee House on October 16th to raise awareness of New Roots’ presence in the city.  The group passed out 1,000 flyers for the coffee house, and as a result had over 80 people go through.  Those who attended came from all walks of life – people from AA, artsy people, some who have past church backgrounds, and so on.  They held the coffee house in a hall in the downtown area of the city.  This is the second coffee house the church plant has conducted.  The first one was this past summer and they had good results.  One third of the people who are attending the church were contacted through the first coffee house.  The church is running in the 20’s.  Every week they pass out four or five welcome gifts to brand new people.  The challenge is overcoming the sporadic attendance and seeing a higher commitment level from many of these folks.  This past summer, four people who were a strategic part of the core ministry team left Sydney for other assignments.  The church has felt this loss.  Pastor Kevin is in the process of rebuilding the ministry team.  There are good leadership prospects but the rebuilding takes time.  In addition, Kevin is bi-vocational.  His secular job is full-time.  This obviously impacts the amount of time he has free to invest directly into the church plant ministry.  Please keep Kevin and Laura in your prayers.  They have a deep conviction about their call, and remain encouraged with their church work.
Top Giving Churches and Districts from Global Partners: The most recent issue of “GP WorldView” shows that the Atlantic District (AD) churches have made significant strides in missions giving.  The Atlantic District (based on district fiscal year ending in 2010) was third in the denomination for “Giving to GP by District.” Wood’s Harbour Wesleyan (Pastor Rod Guptill) was 16th in the denomination for “Per Capita giving to GP”.  There were seven AD churches in the “Top 100 Giving Churches to GP” – Moncton/L.D. Buckingham 10th; Kings Valley/Jim Agrell 38th; Wood’s Harbour/Rod Guptill 45th; Sussex/Rob MacCallum 47th; Fredericton-Crosspoint/Tim Guptill 85th, River Valley/Dave McElhinney 90th; and Yarmouth/Dave Wilcox 98th. In addition, 23 AD churches were listed as giving between $3,500 and $17,500.  The AD churches are taking the global missions mandate very seriously, and giving beyond themselves.  We praise God for the “Kingdom spirit” this expresses.
Westchester Wesleyan voted unanimously to call Rev. Linda Fillmore as their pastor.  Pastor Linda is currently the part-time assistant pastor at Amherst Wesleyan.  She currently serves with Lead Pastor Raymond Fancy. Pastor Raymond has been giving pastoral oversight to Westchester this year to help them out.  Pastor Linda has been supplying the Westchester pulpit twice a month on Sunday mornings.  She and her husband, Sterling, will be moving into the Westchester parsonage.  Her commitment at Amherst will conclude at the end of October and she will take up her new responsibilities effective November 1st.  Pastor Linda says, “I have a heart for these people and the community ’round about Westchester.”
Jordon LeBlanc is the Youth Pastor at the Perth-Andover Wesleyan Church and he reports that they had three teens make first-time decisions for Christ last week at youth group. They also have four teens that feel God is calling them to some type of full-time Christian ministry.  Pastor Jordon says good things are happening in Perth!  Reg Thomas is the Senior Pastor.
Halifax-Deep Water: Pastor AJ Thomas shares, “I received an email the other day from a woman who has been coming to Deep Water for about four months.  She comes out of a very liberal [church] background.  The woman said:  ‘I have never had a church that really felt like home before but at Deep Water I feel connected and comfortable and I honestly feel it is everything I could ask for.  I feel at Deep Water I am finally learning how to live a proper Christian life and that God is finding ways to use me like never before.  I have never had a church that I have cared about so greatly and wanted to help grow and strengthen and help in any way I can.’”
Deep Water will celebrate its third birthday in November.  Keep Pastor AJ and Kelly and this young church in your prayers as they strive to reach people and disciple them for Christ.
Thanksgiving Sunday, October 10th, Amherst Wesleyan Church held a special prayer time at the altar where many of the congregation joined their hearts in prayer for the church’s vision and direction, a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit, and that the families of the church would know victory.  They called on God to intervene as it relates to wayward teenagers, physical needs within the congregation, and the salvation of unsaved loved ones.  Many were deeply moved, and many positive comments were shared with Pastor Raymond Fancy that day, and throughout the rest of the week.  The results of that service were felt in the October 17th morning service as several testified to answered prayers since the previous Sunday!  On October 17th in the evening service, the church hosted their 3rd annual music night in support of the local food bank.  There was a standing room only crowd of 350 people!  This is the highest recorded attendance in the history of AWC!  Eight musical groups participated, including church choirs, praise teams, an elementary school choir, and a clergy choir.  Over $1,000 was received in an offering, and over $1,500 worth of grocery items were received for the food bank!  Pastor Raymond says, “It was an incredible night with a great spirit of community, and the presence of God!” 
I was in Port Maitland Wesleyan Church October 3rd. There were over 30 people in the A.M. service (lya 28).  I brought greetings on behalf of the District, and also brought the morning message.    Since my last visit to the church, new windows have been installed in the sanctuary.  This is a very nice upgrade.  The windows are clear and let in much more light.  The downstairs fellowship hall has a new coat of paint which has brightened it up, and it is now ready for the next round of activities.  Dale Robertson is the pastor.
October 17th, Joanne and I were at Kentville-New Hope Wesleyan in Nova Scotia.  Pastor Scott Prime is the Senior Pastor and Elizabeth Stewart is Pastor of Children & Youth. This was the fourth Sunday since Kentville-New Hope has gone to two Sunday morning services.  There were 67 in the early service, the highest attendance to date.  The first three Sundays this service ran in the 50’s.  The combined attendance for the morning was approximately 190 (lya 161).  Pastor Scott has been at the church 12 years, and they started with 12 people on his first Sunday.  They have met in three previous locations prior to building the church.  This is their 6th year in the new church facility, and the growth has been upward since then, especially in the last three years.  They are planning a major music/drama outreach to their community in December with a special emphasis toward those in the military.
Black’s Harbour Wesleyan celebrated their 80th Anniversary October 24th. The church was comfortably full with an attendance of 126 (lya 94).  There was a wonderful spirit of expectancy and ministry among the people.  Pastor Jeff Hoyt shared that their altars were lined the previous Sunday, something they haven’t experienced for a while.  People were asking forgiveness, tears were shed, and God’s Spirit was in the place in a marked way.  The parishioners were still talking about it this past Sunday, and the overflow of blessing from the previous week was certainly evident in the anniversary service.  Attendance is up, and there are new faces and families since my last visit to this church.  On another note, the congregation has addressed some much needed improvements to the 60-year-old parsonage.  The wiring has been upgraded to meet code, the upstairs bathroom has been renovated, and a new half-bath has been installed in the downstairs area.  There are other things that will be addressed at a later date.         
I was privileged on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Bethany Bible College to officiate at a ceremony October 15 to rename the newly renovated library at BBC as The Earle and Marion Trouten Library. For nearly 40 years, Bethany’s library occupied less than half of Nicholson Hall, sharing space with the chapel and music department. With the completion of the Saunders Irving Chapel and the relocation of the music department, additional space in Nicholson Hall became available for the library’s expansion.  Earle and Marion Trouten of Kanata, Ont., stepped forward to meet the need for the library expansion, funding the interior and exterior renovation of Nicholson Hall.  The 10,394-square-foot interior is climate controlled by a new HVAC system, helping to protect the reference materials and books that are now displayed on new shelving units.  The library reopened to students this fall.  Professor David Trouten, Division Chairman of General Studies at BBC, is the son of Earle and Marion.  Mrs. Jane Higle serves as the Director of Library Services.
Pastors Carl & Evelyn Brewer, former pastors at Nackawic Wesleyan and now retired and living in Fredericton, express their thanks for the prayers and thoughtfulness of so many during Evelyn’s recent illness.  She is better but still recovering.
Zach d’Entremont has joined the staff at Halifax-Metro as the assistant pastor, working primarily with the youth and young adults.   Kevin Wilson is the lead pastor.
“When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you will become a general.  If you become a monk, then you will end up as a pope.’  Instead, I became a painter, and wound up as Picasso.”
– Pablo Picasso
Don’t try to be who you’re not supposed to be…..Be who you were meant to be!

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